When it comes to exterior home maintenance, painting, roof repair, and window and door repair are often the first tasks that come to mind. However, there is another aspect of your home's exterior that is just as important to maintain: gutters. Here are four problems that can be avoided with regular gutter cleaning.
The part of your home that is at most risk if your gutters are not cleaned regularly are the gutters themselves. Dirt, leaves, and other debris will build up in your gutters over time. Eventually, this debris will become too heavy for your gutters to support, causing them to tear away and come crashing down.
In addition to having to pay to have your gutters replaced, gutters and the weight of the debris they contained can cause significant damage to the exterior of your home. What was formerly a simple problem that could have been solved with a timely gutter cleaning is now damage to your siding and any doors or windows that were under the gutter that fell. Having your gutters cleaned before they fall will allow you to avoid much more costly repairs in the future.
Wood Rot And Mold
One of the biggest problems of leaving gutters clogged with debris is the moisture buildup it creates. Clogged gutters will prevent rain from draining off of your roof properly, and will cause snow to pile up on your roof in the winter. This will lead to water seepage through your shingles, rotting the wood underneath them and creating a dark, damp environment where mold can grow. Significant roof rot will eventually allow the water to leak through the roof and into your home to cause water damage.
Any water that does make its way to the clogged gutters will simply overflow around the edges and pour down your siding. This will cause mold and mildew to grow on the outside of your home, tarnishing its appearance. If a large amount of water is pouring down the siding, it can cause a column of water damage along the outside of your home, and it may also begin to seep through and damage your interior walls.
Mosquitoes, termites, and cockroaches are all drawn to places that are dark, damp, and cool. If your gutters are not cleaned regularly, you could be inviting them into your home by creating a perfect environment for them in your roof. Once the wood of your roof has rotted through and created a leak, it has also created a passageway for pests to enter through. If the damage is not fixed quickly, you may need to contact an exterminator to solve an infestation problem before you are able to repair the roof.
The most important job that your gutters do is delivering water away from your home's foundation. Clogged gutters are unable to do this job adequately, and will lead to water saturation in the soil around your foundation walls at a rate that is too fast for your foundation drains to compensate for. The high volume of water in the surrounding soil will exert hydrostatic pressure inward on the foundation walls, causing them to start crumbling and leaking water into the basement. Strong enough water pressure could shift the entire position of your foundation, greatly reducing the structural integrity of your home.
Gutter cleaning is extremely beneficial because it lets you avoid several significant problems with your home's roof, siding, and foundation. Be sure to have your gutters cleaned regularly so that you can save the time, money, and effort of larger repairs down the road.